Some Little Cleanup (A Small Update)

I've plugged back in the CPU board, and the machine seems to boot reliably. Still the music is intermittent at boot, but I don't know if that's a serious problem yet. I'm still digging. For now, with the stable power supply, I feel most of the back cabinet's boards are mostly sorted out as I only have left the playfield power board, and that will be hard to debug while I'm working out the rest of the wiring issues.

Two things that were really bugging me was a wiring issue from the power supply, and the battery backup system. Starting with the power supply wiring, one of the first things I noticed in the backbox was the presence of a bunch of wire nuts:

This type of thing in a pinball machine, while not unheard of, is definitely not how it shipped from the factory. It's clear that at some point and time, someone decided to cut one of the power connectors. I can't think why someone would do this, but here it is in my machine.

While this might be "good enough for government work", I don't want anything I'm doing to look like this. Now, I could go get a new cable (or wire a new cable), route it through the backbox, and redo a bunch of zipties, I think it's easier to just get out some butt connectors and my crimp tool.

While not as pretty as factory new or a replacement, at least these connectors are designed for situations exactly like this. And, most importantly, I can stop looking at those stupid wire nuts and getting pissed off.

And another thing – I also removed the need for the RAM battery backup:

Check out that snazzy new NVRAM (red chip, lower right center). Additionally, I yanked off the old battery carrier, and (gently!) used a razor blade to remove som sticky glue behind the carrier. (Note to self – do you know where your chip puller is? It's much easier to use one than a flathead…)

Neither of these two pieces of work were pressing, nor the most difficult, but they've been banging around in my mind from the first time I looked in the back cabinet, and said, "WTF is that?!?" There are two other things from my initial inspection of the back cabinet that I'll be fixing soon, but the two most annoying ones are done now.

What's That Sound?

Well, it's not a buzzing speaker!!! The sound from the machine isn't humming anymore, and for that  I am pleased. Either fixes to the power supply, or floating the soundboard likely cured the problem, and I'm not getting 60Hz noise from the speakers anymore[*]. There's still a buzz, and I think it's the transformer singing a little (another common DataEast/Sega problem), but I'm going to try an old trick of (less gently) whacking the transformer to reseat all the plates and see if it cures the hum. As usual, dear reader, I'll keep you posted.

[*] Note that if either of these two things didn't fix the problem, I was going to fix the cut grounding straps to see if THAT cured the problem. (That was one of the other original problems I saw in the machine when I inspected the backbox.)


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